By Katy Killilea
Is it just some frothy, popular misconception that GPs used to freely give mothers (or as I imagine we were called in those days, “wives”) prescriptions for Valium? I think about that a lot; it seems always to be on weekdays at 4:52 PM when I start thinking about it, and then usually one child will whine that the other pinched him, and my husband will call to say he’s stuck in traffic. I do not mean to make light of drug dependency or anxiety disorders—in fact, I consider myself to be suffering from both. It’s just that my drugs are not from a pharmacy. My drugs are not from the street. My drugs are from the grocery store and I am not sure they are working at all. But I do not stop using them. For what it’s worth, these are the Mother’s Little Helpers that might work—sort of—for me.
Bach’s Rescue Remedy ($10 per bottle; available in the homeopathy section of Whole Foods and CVS) This is a blend of flower essences, in a bottle a wee bit smaller than a 1983 Bonnie Bell Lipsmacker. You carry it with you and squirt some on your tongue (like Binaca!) whenever you start to feel tense. Sometimes it works, but this may be because the flowers are marinating in what tastes suspiciously like grain alcohol.
Diet Coke Plus ($2.50 for 12 cans at every grocery store and gas station.) Diet Coke is my afternoon pick-me-up of choice. Diet Coke Plus promises the same gentle caffeine lift, with the “plus” of niacin, zinc, magnesium, and vitamins B6 and B12. It tastes only a little bit less good than Diet Coke, and it provides some sort of reassuring illusion that, at the very least, even if the rest of your afternoon is a wipeout, you will get 15% of the USRDA of those few nutrients. Unfortunately, Diet Coke Plus is not yet available in the cuter (8-ounce) size can hat all of the cool people seem to be using these days.
Trident White ($1.25 for 12 chiclet-size pieces in a blister pack. Available everywhere mainstream junk food is sold.) I love gum. But I hate it when people chew gum in public, so I do it in secret in my car where only my family has to hear the disgusting chomping and cracking. Trident White doesn’t mess around: it is made exclusively in strong, breath-scouring flavors. Apparently it also whitens one’s teeth. My teeth are not dazzlingly white, but I shudder to think how much more Diet Coke-tinted they would be without the Trident. Also I am trying to work out a chewing technique that puts the gum more in contact with the surfaces of my teeth that face outward.
Rachel’s Vitality Yogurt (89 cents per single-serving cup at Whole Foods) 2007 was the year that I realized that it’s not simply that I’m tired. I really look this way. No amount of extra sleep is going to give me back the dewy, youthful beauty I imagine I once had. 2007 is also the year I noticed this “Vitality” yogurt. Just when I felt most in need of a shot of Vitality, there it was in the dairy case. Sadly, the yogurt has not made me look any glowier, but it is very delicious and is safer, cheaper, and less controversial than plastic surgery. It also comes in “Calm” flavor, which is safer, cheaper, and less controversial than qualudes.
If you have Vitamin Water in your fridge or aromatherapeutic smelling salts in your diaper bag, please share your favorites or steer us away from duds.
Grocery News is occasional posts about food items. Sharing great discoveries, tips and ideas helps make parenting a little easier. Share your food thoughts by clicking comments below or email us with your story ideas.